Multi-objective railway timetabling including energy-efficient train trajectory optimization

Gerben M. Scheepmaker, Rob M.P. Goverde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Energy-efficient train driving is an important topic to railway undertakings (RUs) for sustainability and cost reduction. The timetable affects the possibilities for energy-efficient train driving by the amount of running time supplements, which is the topic of energy-efficient train timetabling (EETT). The scientific literature on EETT focuses mainly on the balance between total running time and energy consumption. However, in practice RUs consider a trade-off between the total running time, the infrastructure occupation and the timetable robustness, while energy efficiency is not considered. In this paper we consider a multiple-objective timetabling problem at a microscopic infrastructure level that adds energy consumption to the other three objectives. We approach the multiple-objective problem by a brute force search algorithm, where we use two different methods to compute the optimal solution: A weighted sum method and a distance metric method. We apply the method to a Dutch case study on the corridor between the stations Arnhem Central and Nijmegen with alternating Intercity and Sprinter trains, without intermediate overtaking possibilities. The results indicate that there is a balancing relationship between the total running time and energy consumption, without influencing the infrastructure occupation and robustness. The results of the 10 Pareto-optimal solutions show a variation of 5% for the total running time, 18% for the energy consumption, 0.3% for the extended cycle time, and 0.8% for the buffer time. The shortest running time leads to 18% more energy consumption than the longest running time with 5% more running time supplement. In both cases the extended cycle time and buffer time are almost constant. On the other hand, reducing the infrastructure occupation leads to homogenization of the timetable. Therefore, including energy consumption in the multiple-objective can be used to balance the trade-off between total running time and capacity consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-42
Number of pages42
JournalEuropean Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Blocking time theory
  • Capacity consumption
  • Energy-efficient train control
  • Energy-efficient train timetabling
  • Robustness


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  • Energy-efficient Train Timetabling

    Scheepmaker, G. M., 2022, Trail / TU Delft. 250 p.

    Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

    Open Access
    206 Downloads (Pure)

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